Few test vehicles in 2013 impressed us as much as the Kuga. After a slow start in 2011 with the launch of the previous-generation model in the twilight of its life, Ford’s compact SUV gained traction when the new Kuga debuted last year and then immediately shot to the top of the pile. The reasons are simple: it looks decidedly modern, the cabin is large, well equipped and solidly built, the powertrains are strong and efficient, it rides with great maturity yet handles as well as you’d expect of a Ford, and the pricing is right.
Our favourite is the 110 kW/240 N.m 1,6T Trend at R339 900, which strikes a perfect balance between strong performance and frugal fuel consumption. But don’t discount the 2,0-litre turbo-diesel; models with this engine may start at R390 700, but that’s still less than what most rival manufacturers charge.